We have added this new dedicated section to our website to honor the women who have served in our nation’s armed forces and now as farmers feeding communities.
Jo Arlow will be spearheading this effort and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her on board. Jo is a professional documentary and action photographer in Olympia, Washington. In 2011, her husband Greg, a veteran of the US navy special forces, took his own life after struggling for years with "moral injury," post traumatic stress and chronic pain. After Greg's death she experienced deep grief, guilt and bewilderment, particularly as she came to realize how little she understood about addressing veterans' health and well-being.
Shortly after Greg's death she left her career as a lawyer to dedicate herself to telling the stories of community-based organizations, particularly those serving veterans. Since that time she's continued to document and participate in veteran-led programs that work to prevent suicide and improve veterans' quality of life, including the Growing Veterans' farmsteads near Bellingham and a veterans' spiritual wilderness retreat with School of Lost Borders. She is also a community organizer with Forefront Suicide Prevention at the University of Washington School of Social Work.
Jo intends to further document the work of veteran farmers across Washington State, many of whom have joined together recently to establish the Washington State chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition.